Appetizers for Summer Entertaining — Meatless Monday

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Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Though back-to-school commercials are already flashing on our television screens and Halloween candy has somehow landed on store shelves, there's still plenty of summer left to be enjoyed and more than enough time to plan a summer party. Whether you're hosting a casual cookout for friends and family or organizing a neighborhood-wide barbecue, you'll want to serve a selection of easy-to-eat appetizers and pre-dinner snacks at your get-together. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite party-perfect appetizers below, and serve them up at your next backyard bash. 

Instead of reaching for tired carrots and ranch dressing, prepare a platter of Food Network Magazine's Crudite With Infused Olive Oil and Balsamic (pictured above). A fancy name for raw vegetables that have been cut for simple munching, crudités make the ultimate party appetizer since they involve zero cooking. They can be served with straight-from-the-bottle olive oil and vinegar, though this recipe takes those classic pairings one step further by infusing the oil and balsamic. Over low heat, fragrant fresh herbs and garlic are steeped in olive oil, while brown sugar, red pepper flakes and light citrus zest are warmed in balsamic. Once cool, serve both the olive oil and vinegar in shallow bowls for easy, delicious dunking.

Gina and Pat Neely's 20-minute Grilled Stuffed Tomatoes are brimming with tender cooked pasta, smooth goat cheese and in-season basil, creating a richly satisfying appetizer. After just a few minutes on the grill, the cored tomatoes will become sweet and supple, the cheese melted and the top just barely browned. Watch this video to hear from the Neelys and learn how they cook up this five-star recipe.

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Made with just a few ingredients in only 10 quick minutes, Food Network Magazine’s Thyme and Honey Ricotta Spread is a go-to party starter that boasts uncomplicated elegance. To prepare this sweet and salty spread, top creamy ricotta cheese with warm honey and thyme leaves and finish with a drizzle of fruity olive oil. Serve with slices of crunchy toasted bread and let guests assemble their own cheesy bites.

Visit Food Network for more easy appetizer recipes and must-see party ideas.

Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.

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